One could argue the best love stories of all time have already been written — novels like Anna Karenina
and Pride & Prejudice
are prime examples. We’d say the same about engagement rings
. Some of our favorite styles were commissioned well before the 21st century. (Just imagine the romantic histories that could be tied to each piece.) Of course, this is not to knock any contemporary designers
who create that magic out of thin air. In fact, many of the modern design elements we're loving right now — like filigree metalwork, ouroboroses
, and daisy clusters — actually find their origins in centuries prior.
For this guide, we sought out vintage-jewelry aficionados Doyle & Doyle
founder Elizabeth Doyle, The One I Love
owner Mia Moross and designer Elizabeth Kranz, and Erica Weiner
. With them, we're exploring six famous jewelry eras — Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and retro — and the best certified vintage engagement rings to shop from each. If you weren't a lover of heirloom baubles before reading this, something tells us you're about to have a newfound interest in Grandma's jewelry box.Even more jewelry scoop:10 Etsy Jewelers You Need To Know AboutThe Meaning Behind Your Zodiac Birthstone30 Engagement Rings For Women Who Hate Bling
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Illustrated by Mary Galloway